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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Multigrain Extravaganza

The Chalmerses have been hunkered down this weekend as the bug has been down with a nasty cold. We helped her make valentines for her "classmates" at daycare (they sent home a list of names for us, and convinced me to sign up to bring low-sugar muffins on Thursday), and then for some reason Mr. Chalmers started using the construction paper to make a small and fantastical city. It looked like fun, so I made a couple buildings too.

I baked a couple loaves of bread based on Beranbaum's Tyrolean ten-grain torpedo, with, I think, great success. I'm not usually a fan of multigrain-type breads, but this one was much better than others I've had or made because the flour is just 100% regular bread flour, with the whole (-ish) grains added. No whole wheat flour, in other words, to weigh it down. It was springy and chewy and light, even with all the chunky additions.

I used rinsed quinoa and speckle grits, rolled and steel-cut oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, nuts (sunflower seeds in one loaf and chopped toasted walnuts in the other), toasted pepitos, and I think some white cornmeal—all soaked overnight in hot water to just cover. Meanwhile, the sponge went in the fridge overnight. Everything was mixed together with the salt (in the second loaf I increased the salt from 1 1/4 teaspoons to 2 teaspoons) in the morning to make a sticky dough; two rises, shaped into a batard (this was the first time I've done a batard following good illustrations, and the picture below doesn't do it justice!), proofed for an hour, then sprinkled with rye flour, slashed, and baked on a stone with lots of steam at the beginning.

Something about the perspective makes this photo look odd. The slashes were a little off, but the shape itself was more uniform and pretty than it appears here.

The crumb wasn't exceptionally holey, but it was surprisingly light, and the crust was nice and crisp-chewy.

My whole wheat (mostly; I ran out of whole wheat and switched to all-purpose) sourdough starter, in other news, is almost ready to use. It isn't quadrupling in volume yet, but it's much more active in the last day or so than any starter I've made before.


heidi said...

We have escaped the daycare colds lately, but we did get roped into making undecorated sugar cookies for the party this Thurs. I wonder what kind of toxic canned frosting they are going to let the kids use?

Since Maeve was up at 5:00 this morning, I too baked with quinoa. I made muffins from that silly Martha Stewart "Everyday Food" mag and they are surprisingly tasty.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Liana said...

After the first time I cooked quinoa I would've thought you'd have to be sleep-deprived to want to eat the stuff. Then I learned you have to rinse it really well first because it has saponin on it that makes it taste soapy.

(Heidi: They can just call it Discovery frosting.)